March's patents pick 5 article

My Milestone Patents

David S. Jones : Office of Innovation Development

Ideas are a dime a dozen for those who strive to make changes in something already existing or to create totally new technologies.

Everyone has their own list of what they consider “milestones” in technology. Sometimes our lists are similar, sometimes not, and sometimes they contain technology that we would have never thought possible. For me, that’s what these patents represent, and I cannot wait to see what future inventors have in store for the world to see.

Note: This article is part of an ongoing series detailing some of the Inventors Eye staff’s favorite patents. For each article, the writer selects their five favorite patents under a given theme. This list is from Management and Program Analyst David Jones.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle
U.S. Patent No. 5,343,970

Cars have evolved into something we thought could never be. With this invention, patented on September 6, 1992, the automobile went to the next level. Hybrid technology introduced a car with two motors—one electric and one gasoline—and have great fuel efficiency. Inventor Alex Severinsky wanted to make a car that was cleaner than the current automobiles on the road. The battery motor runs when the car is at low speeds to prevent the loss of gasoline and less carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. When the speed increases the gas motor kicks in and recharges the battery motor while driving and braking.


Self Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Connector Locking System
U.S. Patent No. 8,025,526

When I was a kid, I plugged in my remote control car to recharge its batteries. Today you can plug in your everyday car. The technology detailed in this patent from September 27, 2011, literally breathed life into an electric car by allowing the car to plug into a house socket or a charging station on city streets. Who would have thought that your cell phone and car could both plug in to the same outlet and be ready for the next day? I know I did not predict that forecast.


Automatic Parallel Parking System
U.S. Patent No. 4,735,274

It would be nice to have that can car park itself and fit without having to try more than once to get into that perfect parking space. Inventor Warren Good and Jacob Vihauer, Jr. decided to make this into a reality and invented a system that would parallel park the car for those is who have trouble with parallel parking (even if we won’t admit it) Published on April 5, 1988 this invention has reduced stress for many a harried driver along a busy city street.


Traffic Light Control for Emergency Vehicles
U.S. Patent No. 4,443,783

Cars have changed a lot, but what about traffic lights? Though it seems hard to improve the basic red, yellow, green system, somebody figured out how to do it. This invention, patented on April 17, 1984, allows emergency vehicles to communicate with traffic signals and clear an intersection ahead of time.


Media Device
U.S. Patent No. D650,355

The days of music being stored on physical devices like CDs and records is almost past. When I think of music, I think of the iPod. Published on December 12, 2011 this design patent is not for the actual functions and utility of the iPod, but rather the ornamental shape of it, which became a hit among new and old users alike.

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